Real Wedding – Sophie & Brad, Red Hill VIC
For what they call their 12-year anniversary party, Sophie and Brad’s wedding was one epic celebration, wrapped in a striking concoction of vibrant, stripped-back style and fresh minimalist elegance.
Using the bold architecture of their venue, Port Philip Estate, to inspire their aesthetic choices led to a dynamic monochromatic palette of crisp contemporary blues and clear, fresh spun whites. The result is unique, stunning, and perfectly on-point.
Rough-hewn pillars backdrop the sun-drenched ceremony, adorned with florals in electric cobalt, cornflower blue and layered vanilla by Honesty Flora. Against this backdrop perfection, Sophie and Brad are radiant, enjoying the heartfelt fun whipped up by celebrant extraordinaire, Marry Me Megan.
Transitioning the blue hues into the party is signage by Rebel Reflect, crisp classic typography in Sophie and Brad’s signature ultramarine. Tablescapes centred around arrangements of azure blooms and accents of neon yellow add dynamic energy, while chic candlesticks escalate the effect.
There to capture every stunning moment and gorgeous emotion is superstar photographer Motta Weddings. Scroll on for this one; trust us, you’ll enjoy!
We met about 12 years ago – yes, 12! The wedding is pretty much our 12-year anniversary party. We were both at Uni and had mutual friends in a share house. We met one night in the shabby house’s backyard – and the rest is history!
We’ve been a solid item from pretty much a month in. There was never any doubt we’d end up married… one day.
Sophie was being a grinch and wasn’t in the mood for Christmas cooking (very unlike her) on Christmas Eve. She was lying on the dog bed, cuddling with our pup Maggie instead. Brad thought, I know how to fix this, and went to the bedroom to dig out the engagement ring then and there. He was going to propose on Christmas morning but thought it couldn’t wait. Brad pulled Sophie out of the dog bed so he could get on one knee and propose. Sophie was feeling very festive after that.
With so many venues still so busy with the covid backlog, we knew we had to start there. Food is pretty much everything to us, so making sure our guests had an amazing meal on the day was our first priority. After scouring most of the state for wedding venues, Port Phillip was an absolute stand-out – we knew it was the spot pretty much the second we walked in. From there, I moved quickly on the big-ticket items. I may or may not have had the world’s largest Pinterest board going with vendors and styling inspiration prior to getting engaged – I blame the very long-term relationship! I’ve also worked in marketing for years, so planning big events comes with the territory. I loved the process (for the most part!)
We knew we wanted something quite modern for our styling and something a little different from the hyper brights that have been everywhere recently. It ended up being ‘something blue’.
For us, it started with the florals. The venue’s architecture was so striking I knew I had to go bold with the colour palette. I worked really closely with the amazing Tegan from Honesty Flora on the concept, and we both agreed a strong monochromatic palette would look the most striking in the space. After playing around with a few options and what was in season in Feb, we landed on blue. When we saw the blue stationery from Rebel Reflect, it all fell into place.
For inspiration, I really loved looking through real weddings on Instagram, particularly the hyper-styled elopements that were happening as a result of covid. When it’s just you, or a handful of your loved ones, you can really amp up the styling and personality and create something so beautiful and unique. I really gravitated to stripped-back, minimal style coming out of LA and New York weddings – modern, minimal and really personal.
I know every couple probably feels this way – but it was so uniquely us! Our brief to our absolute rockstar celebrant Megan was funny, light-hearted and heartfelt. We don’t take life too seriously and wanted the ceremony to feel relaxed. Megan nailed it. I could hear a cheer and roar of laughter before I’d even walked down the aisle. The ceremony was conversational, involved our loved ones, and we both laughed and cried through the whole ceremony. It was as if Megan had known us for a lifetime!
Oh god – I think I tried on every dress in Melbourne. I really didn’t have a picture in my head of what my ideal dress looked like, even though I’d done so much research. I was gravitating towards gowns that I would have never thought I’d like.
After countless appointments, I ended up with the wonderful team at Marquise Bridal. I chose my dress… then about two weeks later, called and asked if I could change my mind to another style I’d tried. It was just better suited to my shape and size rather than what I thought I wanted. A friend said to me through the process, ‘You know, there isn’t just one dress for everyone.’ Which I found to be absolutely true. I think I was waiting for that A-ha moment when I’d found ‘the dress.’ Some people have that (and I am envious), but others should know that it’s okay if it doesn’t hit you straight away and that you’ve found the right dress for you!
Brad is far more practical. He knew he wanted a tailor-made suit and knew it was going to be navy. After meeting with two tailors, he found the right fit and knew exactly what he was after. Having something tailored and handmade in Rome was really special for him.
Sophie: Watching Brad literally glowing as I walked towards him at the altar. After a day of pouring rain and hail, we had that miracle break in the weather you hope for. The sun had just broken through the clouds and was beaming down on him and the limestone behind him, making him actually glow while he smiled at me – magic!
Brad: There’s so much anticipation before the ceremony, so watching Soph walking down the aisle looking so beautiful in her dress. That’s still the memory that stands out most about the day.
Meaning of marriage.
For us, it was about sharing our love and life with our loved ones. Being able to take a moment to stop and tell your s.o how much they mean to you in front of your nearest and dearest was incredibly special.
Aisle: Latch by Sam Smith
Recessional: Love by J Dilla
Entry: Move on Up by Curtis Mayfield
First Dance: Praise You by Fat Boy Slim
Father Daughter: My Girl by The Temptations
Funny stories or near disasters.
We very almost didn’t have our wedding pizza! My brother thought Dad had ordered them, and Dad thought my brother had it covered. Mum was ready to kill them both! Thankfully the restaurant reopened that evening, and the amazing team at Port Phillip went to collect the pizza for us and piped the special message on top with ricotta just in time for the cutting of the pizza.
That we actually really enjoyed most parts of the planning process. We styled and organised the day ourselves, so it was a big task, but we did most of it together, which meant it wasn’t a burden. I do 100% understand why couples choose to work with an event planner / team. If events are not your thing, I think planners are worth their weight in gold!
Words of wisdom.
Good suppliers make your life a hell of a lot easier. Do your research, read reviews, and ask friends for suggestions. Our suppliers were all incredible; they made the planning easy, helped us with things we would have never thought of ourselves, made us comfortable and made the running of the day effortless.
There might be times through the planning process when you think, ‘Why the hell are we doing this!?’. We did! Trust me – when you get to the day, and you’re in the love bubble with all your friends and family, you will be so glad you spent the time to make your day magic.
Trying to choose your dream day hues? Or perhaps you’ve got your palette, but are at a loss to how to bring it all together? We’ve collected our real weddings by colour categories, so you can browse your fave tones and see how other couples have made them shine.
SOPHIE & BRAD’S VENDORS
Online resources we utilised were Ivory Tribe, The Line, The Anti Bride, and Pinterest.
The Instagram algorithm is your friend through this process – lean into the creepy suggested posts. We found heaps of ideas and some of our suppliers this way!
Ceremony & reception venue: Port Phillip Estate
Celebrant: Marry Me Megan
Photography: Motta Weddings
Florist: Tegan from Honesty Flora
Hair: Caroline Hair
Make-up: Ellie Zukker from Tonic Agency
The dress & veil: Marquise Bridal
Rings: Benjamin Jewellers
Accessories: Vintage Chanel earrings, Bottega Veneta bag.
Bridesmaid’s dresses: Rachel Gilbert
Suits & bow ties / ties: P Johnson
Catering: Port Phillip Estate
Cake / Cake topper: Pizza from The Epicurean Red Hill
Stationery / Signage: Rebel Reflect
Entertainment: Simon TK
Hire: The Small Things Co
Honeymoon: Vietnam now and Europe for summer